.... is originally from England but has
lived all his adult life in Norway where
he works as a writer, a translator andas a
singer and musician with a repertoire that
draws on both English and Scandinavian
traditions. Maritime songs are particular
favourites and he performs both solo and
in a variety of group constellations,
including the shanty trio Foghorn, the
Anglo-Swedish trio Doggerland and the
Anglo-French-Norwegian folk quintet Five
Men in a Boat. Richard has led shanty
courses in Norway, Sweden and the UK.
Shanties are work songs used to synchronize
the many manual tasks on board a sailing
ship – e.g. hoisting sails, heaving the
anchor, pumping bilge from the hold. They
are also great fun to sing, with powerful
melodies and often colourful lyrics!
Richard Burgess’s course will focus on
rhythm, drive and the simple use of harmony.
As well as singing the choruses you will
also have the chance to try your hand at
being the “shantyman or -woman”.
On the way, we will also learn something
about the cultural and historical context of
the songs and how the different types of
shanty were tailored to the task they had to
perform. Most of the material will be in
English, with one or two Scandinavian
shanties - .
There will also be time to learn some
“forebitters” – songs that off-duty sailors
sang for their own enjoyment.
All the teaching will be done by ear
(sailors didn’t read music!) and no prior
knowledge or musical experience is required.
The only prerequisite is to enjoy singing –